The circulation of surgical knowledge
in Rhinoplasty and the nose in early modern British medicine and culture
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This chapter studies book provenance, auction and library catalogues, and reading networks to explore the circulation of Tagliacozzi’s rhinoplasty technique in medical society across early modern Britain. Copies of relevant medical texts can be traced to numerous individual surgeons, physicians, and other educated men, as well as several university and medical libraries that would have exposed the procedure to an interested readership. An English translation of De curtorum chirurgia was appended to the Chirurgorum comes of surgeon Alexander Read in 1686. The chapter explores Read’s attitudes towards plastic surgery techniques and the treatment of stigmatised (especially poxed) patients more broadly, and argues that he has been overlooked in the field. The publication history of this translation is explored in detail, and physician Francis Bernard proposed as the anonymous translator and editor. Further important owners of De curtorum chirurgia and Chirurgorum comes are discussed, including Francis’ brother, Sergeant Surgeon Charles Bernard. The chapter finally examines the writings of James Yonge, a Plymouth naval surgeon who publicised the use of a skin flap in amputations, for his strategic differentiation of his procedure from Taliacotian skin flaps.

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